Say Goodbye to the compact Google Pixel flagship & welcome Pixel 6 Pro/XL - PhoneArena

Say Goodbye to the compact Google Pixel flagship & welcome Pixel 6 Pro/XL

Say Goodbye to the compact Google Pixel flagship & welcome Pixel 6 Pro/XL
No, the Pixel 6 isn’t canceled. But you know what is canceled? Google’s compact flagship phones.

Let’s take a tour of the Google Nexus series, Google Pixel series, and compare Pixel 6 and 6 Pro to some of the exciting upcoming flagships to try and understand why Google decided to abandon the “compact flagship” dream.

Google Nexus series: Ascension

For starters, Google hasn’t always been the go-to manufacturer if you wanted a compact phone. If anything, the company’s previous lineup - the Nexus, was kind of inconsistent when it came to size.

  • Nexus One - 3.7-inch screen
  • Nexus S - 4.0-inch screen
  • Galaxy Nexus - 4.65-inch screen
  • Nexus 4 - 4.7-inch screen
  • Nexus 5 - 4.95-inch screen
  • Nexus 6 - 6-inch screen
  • Nexus 5X - 5.2-inch screen
  • Nexus 6P - 5.7-inch screen

See how the Nexus 6 went “bananas” in terms of size, and then Google felt the need to “calm down” a little bit by bringing the Nexus 6P screen size down to 5.7-inches, as well as offering a whole new flagship for those who wanted a small phone - the Nexus 5X.

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Google Pixel series: Bezel-ness

This is a quote from our Nexus 6 review! As we’ve come to agree (seven years later) - when it comes to smartphones, size matters! It’s not a coincidence companies like Apple are trying to bring compact phones back.

  • Google Pixel 1 - 5.0-inches, 143g
  • Google Pixel 2 - 5.0-inches, 143g
  • Google Pixel 3 - 5.5-inches, 148g
  • Google Pixel 4 - 5.7-inches, 162g
  • Google Pixel 5 - 6.0-inches, 151g

When you look at the Pixel lineup so far, it doesn’t look too different from the Nexus one (up until the Nexus 5). The size gradually goes up, and so does the weight (that’s what she…).

In fact, we have to applaud Google for not only keeping flagships compact but also lightweight! That’s arguably just as important. Actually, it would probably surprise you to find out that the Google Pixel 5 feels more compact than the Google Pixel 4, despite the increased screen size.

Of course, that’s thanks to the slimmer unified bezels around the phone. Despite the 6-inch screen, the Pixel 5 is shorter and thinner than the Pixel 4! So, yes - Google’s last flagship was even more compact than their previous one…

You can check out our brilliant smartphone size comparison tool if you want to see a visual of how one phone compares to another in terms of size!

It's also important to note that all Pixel flagships before the Pixel 5 either had huge bezels, or massive notches. We are truly happy that the company escaped from this "trademark" Pixel trait.

Google Pixel 6 & Google Pixel 6 Pro/XL: Challenging the big dogs with big phones

As reported, the Pixel 6 Pro/XL is going to have a 6.7-inch screen. That’s not a surprise. It’s in line with all other major flagships like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, OnePlus 9 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

However, what is surprising is that the “small” Pixel 6 goes down to 6.4-inches. That’s considerably larger than the Pixel 5, and at the same time not much smaller than the Pixel 6 Pro/XL.

Furthermore, from all the images we’ve seen of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro/XL, the bezels around the new Google flagships seem considerably thicker than those on the Pixel 5. In fact, OnLeaks’ renders show a pretty thick bottom bezel, which goes against Google’s idea of having unified borders on the Pixel 5 - those looked brilliant.

Sure, the look of the Pixel 6 isn’t 100% confirmed just yet, but the sources who’ve provided the renders are rather reliable. If all of this turns out to be true, we’ll end up with a 6.4-inch Google Pixel 6, which feels more like a 6.5-inch phone thanks to the thicker bezels and flat-screen design.

Are compact flagships back in fashion: Google Pixel 6 vs Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi

Taking a look over at the competition - the Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12 come to mind first.

Samsung’s phone comes with a 6.2-inch screen and thin bezels, making it brilliant for one-hand use.

The iPhone 12 (which I’ve owned and used for a while) also feels brilliant for one-handed use. The screen on this one is even smaller, at 6.1-inches, but the bezels seem a bit thicker than those on the Galaxy S21, which makes the two basically identical when it comes to width.

The iPhone 12 is quite a bit shorter, though, so reaching the top of the screen is much easier. That’s a highly underrated feature to have! But… you know what the “sad” part is? Google’s Pixel 5 is even shorter, narrower, thinner, and lighter than the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21! This really gave Google something to be proud of.

Then, the iPhone 12 Mini is pretty much the only flagship phone that beats the Pixel 5 when it comes to pocketability, but we know that this one is often considered “too small” for some, and also boasts the“it dies really quickly” feature - thanks to its tiny, tiny battery. For the record, Apple attempts to "fix" this with the just-released MagSafe Battery Pack.

Taking a look at upcoming phones flagship phones:

iPhone 13 series

It's expected that for the iPhone 13 series Apple will stick to the exact screen sizes and overall dimensions like on the iPhone 12 series of phones.

Galaxy S22 series

We don’t have much information on the Galaxy S22 phones since they are expected to debut in early 2022. We don’t expect a dramatic size increase on the Galaxy S22 since Samsung’s vanilla “S” phone has always been meant to feel “normal”. I mean - they literally have the S21+ for those who want a bigger S21.

OnePlus 9T

Given that the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8T shared the exact same 6.55-inch screen, we don’t expect OnePlus to go out of its way to make a new OnePlus 9T screen. This one will probably use the OnePlus 9 screen, which (surprise!) is the same as on the OnePlus 8 series.

Xiaomi Mi 11T / Xiaomi Mi 12 series

Again, as with OnePlus - Xiaomi used the same screen size on both the Mi 10 5G and the Mi 10T. It’s important to note that in this case, the Mi 10 5G had much slimmer bezels and a curved design, making it feel a lot more compact than the Mi 10T. So, it is expected that history will repeat itself for the Xiaomi Mi11T - if and when this phone comes out. When it comes to the Xiaomi Mi 12 series - it’s way too early to tell.

Bigger screens and bigger batteries on the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro/XL

Now, the good news from all of this is that apart from the bigger screens, we are also getting bigger batteries on the next Google flagships!

  • Google Pixel 5 - 4080mAh battery
  • Google Pixel 6 - 4614mAh battery
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro/XL - 5000mAh battery

In fact, that might be why Google’s gone with bigger screens in the first place. Let’s not forget that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro/XL will use a brand new Samsung-made flagship SoC, codenamed “Whitechapel”.

While the mid-range Snapdragon 765G on the Pixel 5 was super power-efficient and allowed for a compromise, the new “Whitechapel” processor will be flagship-grade, so it’ll naturally demand a bigger battery.

Regardless, the takeaway here is - we are saying goodbye to the compact Pixel flagship. Cheers! Here’s to the Pixel 5A, which will hopefully stick to a smaller screen...
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